The House of Representatives has resolved to set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate Oil Spill clean-ups and remediation in the Oil Producing States in the last five years.
The Committee is also investigate the activities of the National Oil Spill Detection, and Response Agency in the Joint Investigative Visits and the extent of compliance with the EGASPIN and report back within Eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.
This resolution followed adoption of a motion on:”Need to Investigate the Clean-Up of Oil Spills and Remediation in the Oil Producing Areas of Nigeria in the last Five years” sponsored Abubakar Fulata (APC, Jigawa) during plenary on Tuesday.
Moving the motion, Fulata said the House noted with concern the sufferings in the Niger-Delta region as a result of the over 50 years of oil spill and subsequent pollution of the freshwater system, degradation of water quality, and lowering of food web productivity.
According to him, the House is aware that life expectancy in the country stands at 55 years whereas in the Niger-Delta it is 10 years lower due to pollution.
He said the House is concerned that the Annual Report of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) indicated that 569 incidents of oil spills were conveyed with 9718.22 barrels spilled and only 800.55 barrels were recovered while thousands of barrels of oil were lost to the environment.
Fulata argued that the House: also notes that the oil-producing communities continue to complain of belated joint investigative visits (JlV), inadequate oil spill clean-up and remediation, thus exacerbating the woes of the polluted communities.
“Cognizant that quick detection of oil spill, visits to the oil spill sites and prompt clean-up are necessary to avoid its impact on the environment, pollution of potable water sources which makes it become a major threat and a negation to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
“”Also aware that the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan and the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (EGASPIN) have provided an adequate framework to contain oil-spill incidences.
“Worried that despite the institutional framework, oil spill clean-up and remediation continue to generate concern and the affected communities continue to live in the polluted environment that are endangering their vulnerable lives.
“Believes that an increase in oil revenue to the nation is contingent on the peace and harmony that reigns in the oil-producing communities.
“Also worried that with the current drift in global oil prices, the failure to clean up of the impacted sites is creating palpable tension across the communities which may impact on the national oil production”.
James Kwen, Abuja